At some point, many of us will experience the annoyance of having one of our online accounts hacked. It’s the worst, but it happens to the best of us, unfortunately (PSA: Stop using “password” as a password). But there’s good news. In the event of a cybersecurity breach, help may soon come from a source you might not expect: the Girl Scouts.
Come September 2018, girls around the nation will begin learning what it takes to counter computer security issues. The Girl Scouts recently announced a partnership with Palo Alto Networks that will encourage their participants to earn “the first-ever national Girl Scout Cybersecurity badge.” The founders anticipate rolling out a series of 18 badges in total, though the exact details haven’t been fleshed out just yet.
Activities required to earn each merit badge will depend on Scouts’ ranks. While Daisies and Brownies might be asked to figure out basic computer infrastructure and problem-solving games, older girls may be paired with mentors in the tech industry.
This launch is an attempt to help close the gender gap in the tech world. In a statement released by Girl Scouts of USA, Girl Scouts CEO Sylvia Acevedo reminds us of the glaring disparity, stating, “our collaboration will service to cultivate our troops’ budding interest in cybersecurity by providing access to invaluable knowledge that may otherwise not be available to girls.”
According to research by (ISC)2, Global Information Security Workforce Study: Women in Cybersecurity, women are vastly underrepresented in cybersecurity. Only 11 percent of the industry is comprised of women. A pendulum swing in the other direction can’t come soon enough — and, thanks to the Girl Scouts, it might be on its way.
Tell us what you think of the new cybersecurity badges @BritandCo!
(Photo via Kelly Sullivan/Getty)